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White Ferns continue fine form

Sara McGlashan

Sara McGlashan drives en route to 88 not out as New Zealand beat South Africa

New Zealand confirmed themselves as Group A winners in the women’s World Cup, demolishing winless South Africa - who go into a seventh place play-off - by 199 runs.

Sara McGlashan (88 not out) and Amy Satterthwaite (73) helped the White Ferns recover from four for two to post 250 for five from their 50 overs at the Bradman Oval in Bowral.

Seamer Suzie Bates and off-spinner Aimee Mason claimed four wickets each to skittle the Proteas for 51 in 22.1 overs. Only Cri-zelda Brits (25) made double figures.

Mason, reflecting on her career-best figures, said: “I wouldn’t say it was the best I have ever bowled but it was one of those days when everything comes off. You have to take it when it comes as it is not like that every day.

“We are really pleased with how we did today as we wanted to get to the Super Six stage with a bang. The team is on a real high and a lot of our supporters are over as well and it was a great atmosphere at the ground and awesome to take all of those wickets.”

Victory for New Zealand, who carry maximum points through to the Super Sixes, meant hosts Australia and West Indies automatically progressed to the next stage.

Australia, who lost their opener to New Zealand, confirmed their return to form with a 47-run triumph over the Windies at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.

Forties from Shelley Nitschke, Jodie Fields and Alex Blackwell set up a total of 211 for seven. Economical bowling then saw West Indies fall short despite Deandra Dottin’s 51.

The result means Australia take two points through to the Super Sixes while their opponents take none.

Australia vice-captain Blackwell said: “There are expectations for the number one ranked team to beat lesser-ranked teams, but it’s been very positive to see how teams have stepped us against us. I actually think West Indies and South Africa have had two good games against us.

Jodie Fields, Alex Blackwell & Erin Osbourne

Alex Blackwell (centre) admits Australia need to improve if they are to retain their World Cup crown

“We do need to work on the some things, which we are definitely doing to improve each game.”

England’s eight-wicket mauling of Pakistan, thanks largely to off-spinner Laura Marsh’s 5-15, sees Charlotte Edwards’ side go through as Group B winners, taking maximum points with them.

Marsh, the 22-year-old from Kent who was later adjudged player-of-the-match, enthused: “I am pleased with my performance as it’s always nice for the spinners to take wickets in ODIs. It was good that we bowled Pakistan out for a low total and the batters were able to knock off the runs comfortably.

“The ball wasn’t turning much so I concentrated to bowl as straight as possible and tried to bring the slip fielder into play. I wasn’t aware that it was the fifth best bowling performance in a World Cup until someone told me after the presentation. I am definitely pleased with this, also because it came in a match that we won.”

Pakistan progress, albeit with no points carried forward, thanks to India’s 35-run triumph against Sri Lanka - who face South Africa in Saturday’s wooden spoon decider.

An unbeaten 75 from Mithali Raj enabled India to post 137 for seven and seamer Amita Sharma’s 3-19 helped dismiss Sri Lanka in 44.2 overs at the Bankstown Oval in Sydney.

Raj, who struck one boundary in 120 balls, said: “It came at the right time. We did struggle in those initial overs when we were four down for 38 runs. So there was a lot of pressure. We tried to get as many runs as we could in those 50 overs.

Aimee Mason (left)

Aimee Mason (left) is congratulated during her career-best four wickets for two runs in Bowral

“We are very relieved that we won this very close match. It’s still not going to be easy for us in the Super Six stage because we have tough sides like Australia and New Zealand, but I think we should play good cricket in the forthcoming three matches.

“I think our only concern would be our batting. It has really let us down against England and even today where we collapsed quite early.”

India captain Jhulan Goswami added: “We are happy to get the win, but I’m not so happy with our batting.

“A score of 137 is very low, but our bowlers bowled superbly and stuck to the basics and I’m very happy with that.

“It’s important for us to play good cricket in the Super Six stage because each and every match is very important.”

India carry forward two points to the Super Six stage, which begins on Saturday, where the sides will face the qualifiers from the other group.

Super Six fixtures and seventh place play-off:

March 14: South Africa v Sri Lanka, seventh place play-off, North Sydney No.2
March 14: Australia v India, North Sydney Oval
March 14: New Zealand v England, Bankstown
March 14: West Indies v Pakistan, Drummoyne

March 16: Australia v Pakistan, Bankstown

March 17: India v New Zealand, North Sydney Oval
March 17: England v West Indies, Drummoyne

March 19: Australia v England, North Sydney Oval
March 19: India v West Indies, Bankstown
March 19: New Zealand v Pakistan, Drummoyne